Home, heating & renovation

Product overview

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Leaf blowers and blower vacuums

14sep leaf blower vac hero default

They're handy but noisy.

A leaf blower or blower-vacuum will quickly deal with dust, dirt and fallen leaves. We've tested how noisy and safe they are to use.

From our test

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What to look for

Leaf blowers produce a strong jet of air that blows away debris. Blower-vacs do this too – and when set to vacuuming they can also suck up the debris, mulch it (to some extent), then deposit it in a collection bag.

Our test combines battery-electric (cordless) leaf blowers and mains-electric blower-vacuums. Leaf blowers are simpler and lighter because they only have one function, while blower-vacs have the added versatility of vacuuming.

The best type for your needs will depend on the size and layout of your yard.

Power source

  • Petrol models are the best choice for large sections. They can also be used in wet weather, which we don’t recommend for mains-electric models because of the risk of shock. However, all the models in our test have two-stroke engines, so there’s the added hassle of mixing petrol and oil, as well as unpleasant exhaust fumes. They’re harder to start than electric blower vacs as they almost always use a pull cord, and require more steps to convert between blower and vacuum modes.

  • Mains-electric blower vacs perform as well as petrol models, and they’re usually easier to use. But their range is limited by the power cord, which is annoying to drag around.

  • Battery-electric (cordless) blower vacs aren’t yet powerful enough to match the performance of petrol or mains models, and they run for less than half an hour before needing a recharge. However, they can be a good option for smaller sections where you don’t have too many leaves to deal with.

Buying tips

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About our test

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